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Cubmaster Pete

Parent Reaction to Fee Increase

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How has your units famIies received this? Have you had committee/parents meetings yet about it?

Ours was last Sunday. It went well. Good ideas, good discussion. We made some adjustments, mostly everyone was positive. We set the pack up for future increases and financial stability, even though it meant eliminating a few items we normally paid for to keep costs down. Had several parents that owned businesses offer to donate what was needed to cover defecit, as I refused to ask families for more money to cover a problem that was not our fault on short notice. I wanted this meeting to be about permanent solutions, not temporary ones.

  We were still going to be short at recharter, my DE was aware that we would be. We would be able to pay the balance in January after a normal dues payment,  but the beginning of the year would be a little lean on funds until next dues in April. With PWD and B&G coming up it would have been tough, but manageable.

One of the parents showed up on my doorstep tonight with a check for $1250, no stipulations. 😊 I had no idea it was coming. That will cover the recharter shortfall.

I am so grateful that we can move forward in the plus column starting next year, grateful to parents who understand that this is still an excellent program, and so worth it.

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1 hour ago, Cubmaster Pete said:

How has your units famIies received this? Have you had committee/parents meetings yet about it?

Ours was last Sunday. It went well. Good ideas, good discussion. We made some adjustments, mostly everyone was positive. We set the pack up for future increases and financial stability, even though it meant eliminating a few items we normally paid for to keep costs down. Had several parents that owned businesses offer to donate what was needed to cover defecit, as I refused to ask families for more money to cover a problem that was not our fault on short notice. I wanted this meeting to be about permanent solutions, not temporary ones.

  We were still going to be short at recharter, my DE was aware that we would be. We would be able to pay the balance in January after a normal dues payment,  but the beginning of the year would be a little lean on funds until next dues in April. With PWD and B&G coming up it would have been tough, but manageable.

One of the parents showed up on my doorstep tonight with a check for $1250, no stipulations. 😊 I had no idea it was coming. That will cover the recharter shortfall.

I am so grateful that we can move forward in the plus column starting next year, grateful to parents who understand that this is still an excellent program, and so worth it.

Glad to hear it worked out OK.

I would really everyone to look at this at face value.  Explain the situation to families without blame, tell them you need to collect more money, and then move on.  I think if we're positive with families, they generally will be positive too.  The point of Scouting is to do Scouting.  This other stuff about fees, structure, national decisions is all just window dressing.  I would encourage us all to focus on the program and delivering that.

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Fortunately, our pack's popcorn sales exceeded the amount we projected in the budget and the excess will cover the additional re-charter cost.  I guess we unknowingly followed National's advice of Just Sell More Popcorn😎

 

We did mention the likelihood of a dues increase for next year, but there wasn't much of a reaction because no one is thinking about next year yet and we haven't actually given hard numbers.

Edited by OwaTaguSiam

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On 11/5/2019 at 8:02 PM, Cubmaster Pete said:

How has your units famIies received this? Have you had committee/parents meetings yet about it?

Room was very quiet.  Lots of grumbling as people left following the meeting.  Several families have already said they won't be back as a result.  We're trying to find funds to help offset.

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16 minutes ago, walk in the woods said:

Room was very quiet.  Lots of grumbling as people left following the meeting.  Several families have already said they won't be back as a result.  We're trying to find funds to help offset.

Sad... what did your cost end up being? Ours is $105

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We're up to $120 for scouts. (The leader's fee is less, but I'm inclined to put the same amount in by way of donation.) No complaints, and we intend to support anyone who can't afford it. The boys got serious with popcorn and wreath sales, which helped.

But ... we told boys that we had a few fat years where we skated on camp fees. (An adult decision which I did not approve of.) Now they will have a minimum to pay for each campout (unless a volunteer proffers his/her back nine for a weekend). My hope is that will motivate them to sell aggressively.

I'm more concerned about the junior high student who never did scouting and might want to do join the troop. Or, the high school students who might want to join the crew that some of the boys want to start. That's a big commitment compared to the evenings at the skating rink or bowling alley.

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2 minutes ago, qwazse said:

I'm more concerned about the junior high student who never did scouting and might want to do join the troop. Or, the high school students who might want to join the crew that some of the boys want to start. That's a big commitment compared to the evenings at the skating rink or bowling alley.

Agreed. I think the fee increase will have an effect on those currently in scouts. We will, no doubt, lose some. 

I think it will have a much larger effect on recruiting new scouts into the program. 

A lot of the people in the program are already "sold" on scouts. Retaining them might be a challenge. Recruiting new people, who aren't yet "sold" on the program might be much more difficult. 

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We had a parent meeting on Monday night. Several people were not real happy about it.  Heck I am not very keen on it myself but I am in it up to my eyeballs so we will keep the path but I may try to motivate my son on advancements and merit badges to try and get to Eagle quicker as I fear more increases at the national and council level each year.  Right now as it stands the best we could probably do is about 18 months.   I hate to say that but its a possibility.    If he choses to remain in scouting afterwards, I wont discourage it.

My husband had major open heart surgery back in May and we are still trying to recover financially from that so this increase hits me more than it would have last year.  

I proposed that we have a car wash sometime soon to try and cover the cost differences.  We made over $300 at our one in June to help with summer camp travel costs.   Just not sure when we will be able to have one before we break for the year on 12/16.  Camping next weekend and then Thanksgiving and a swimming merit badge test on 12/7.  Maybe 11/23 but that will be our only chance.  We live in Florida so the weather may still be warm enough for a carwash.

We have a couple families who are on the fence.   Their scouts progress has been stagnant(not for lack of trying from the adult leadership!) and this cost increase maybe the final nudge for them to go ahead and leave. 

Not sure how the pack took the news as I am not in the pack anymore.  

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The feedback I got is that most parents aren't happy about the late notice but I don't think any of the troops are loosing scouts over it. I had a chat with the COR's trying to get them to help out.  One CO covered the difference entirely, one covered half.  The other troop is pretty well-to-do and will be fine I think.

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Most of the units in my Service area are not asking the parents to fork over the extra $27 and instead dipping into their unit funds to supplements the costs.. I actually don't think we will lose a lot of youth over it. Adults yes, but youth no. 

 

Now, what I really see it having a bad effect on is brand new Scouts. When you start a new unit in the fall, you do what called a "long-charter". That means you pay for the rest of your current year AND the next year. So if I wanted to start a new unit in September, I would be asking a brand new scout to fork over $75 just for registration! Never mind the uniform and handbook. So basically starting new Packs will be more impossible than it already was. 

Edited by carebear3895
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23 hours ago, Cubmaster Pete said:

Sad... what did your cost end up being? Ours is $105

Troop stayed at $100.  Many of our parents don't care to be involved beyond coming to a COH and dropping their kid off for meetings and camping trips, so most of them have no idea that National raised their fees.  We're looking at a spring fundraiser to offset the increase, but nothing is set at this point.

Crew stayed at $125 for current members, and is $150 for new members.  We only have one new member who hasn't been involved in the past.  Other new members are sisters of existing crew members, so they were aware that the crew charges a bit more - mostly to offset the more high-adventure-type outings and to try and purchase our own supplies, rather than share with the Troop that's chartered by the same CO.  (Here's a good chuckle.  We were in the attic of the church rounding up gear for a backpacking/canoeing trip, and the Troop has index cards tied to the drawstrings on the tent bags.  They say things like "missing 2 tent pegs" and "rain fly missing", but one merely says "Stinks".  Haha.  No wonder the girls want their own gear.)

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We only charge the BSA registration fee + our Council Activity Fee, so $90 total for 2020.  We have one large annual fundraiser that gives us several grand for operating budget, as well as several thousand to split into scout accounts.   So far, only 2 will be leaving, but those two youth weren't involved more than a couple meetings this year, they never camped or attended Memorial Day parade, etc.  There are couple parents that grumbled about it, but our Council has created an application to appeal for financial hardship exemption to seek waiver of the $30 Activity Fee to assist families, so they will probably at least try to get that waiver.  The bigger concern is what to do if the fees raise again.  Our council made a statement on the Activity Fee waiver to the effect that units should be assisting families first, which made my stomach turn.  

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18 hours ago, HashTagScouts said:

We only charge the BSA registration fee + our Council Activity Fee, so $90 total for 2020.  We have one large annual fundraiser that gives us several grand for operating budget, as well as several thousand to split into scout accounts.   So far, only 2 will be leaving, but those two youth weren't involved more than a couple meetings this year, they never camped or attended Memorial Day parade, etc.  There are couple parents that grumbled about it, but our Council has created an application to appeal for financial hardship exemption to seek waiver of the $30 Activity Fee to assist families, so they will probably at least try to get that waiver.  The bigger concern is what to do if the fees raise again.  Our council made a statement on the Activity Fee waiver to the effect that units should be assisting families first, which made my stomach turn.  

wow, whats the fund-raiser????

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